Bringing Home 2
Here are a few common sense guidelines when bringing home 2 new dogs (or even introducing a new one into the pack).

Have a plan:

(1) Feed with peace in mind.

           (A) Have distinctly different food bowls so the dogs will recognize which is theirs. 

           (B) Have a specific place each will eat far enough apart to avoid conflict.  Feeding is the number one issue when bringing in 2 new dogs.

          (C) Even the most passive, non-food issue dog needs it's space.  Not all dogs need the same amount of food so if one begins stealing from the other, that one will most likely get fat while the other is hungry and may at some point rebel. 

(3) Have a set routine.

          (A) If you walk them before breakfast, then continue that time schedule.  After breakfast, then make that the routine. 

          (B) If they depend on you to go outside to potty, make a set time as well as when they let you know they have to go.

(4) Designate space and equality.

           (A) They will both want your attention.  Set in a place where one can be on your right and the other on your left.  You only pet if they are on opposite sides of you.  If one won't move and is trying to nudge the other out of the way,  get up and walk away. 
        
           (B)  Show them their beds.  If in the bedroom, they need to be equally spaced away from your bed.  Avoid creating jealousy.  If they have run of the house and do not want to sleep in a specific spot, then that is fine.  Just watch that one is not forcing the other away.  Where they sleep needs to be in their comfort zone but where you also are comfortable letting them be.

          (C) Play time.  Be careful not to make it competitive.   If you are going to play catch, be sure they understand (through previous training) that they will be taking turns.  Be sure there are no 'loosers'.   If they are interested in different activities, balance it out.  One wants petted; one wants to play fetch.  You can do both at the same time.

Your life will be much simpler if you follow these simple ideas from the start.  The more consistency you have in everything, the better behaved the dogs.  The more equality in their schedule, the more relaxed they will be.  

 

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